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Grateful Dead Live at Uptown Theater on 1981-02-26

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Grateful Dead Live at Uptown Theater on 1981-02-26

Topics Live concert

Feel Like A Stranger, Althea-> Little Red Rooster, Bird Song, Me & My Uncle-> Big River, Tennessee Jed, Passenger, Peggy-O, The Music Never Stopped China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, Samson & Delilah, He's Gone-> Drums-> Truckin'-> Black Peter-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> Johnny B. Goode, E: U.S. Blues

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Uptown Theater
Location Chicago, IL

Source Soundboard
Lineage SBD > Cassette master > DAT(0)
Transferred by Dick Latvala


SBD > Cassette master > DAT(0) (Cassette>DAT transfer by Dick); DAT(1) > ZA2> Soundforge (15db sampled tape hiss noise reduction filter)> CD Architect > Master CDR (by Jim Wise); CDR Master > EAC in secure mode (see below) > Soundforge (minor editing and crossfading) > CDWAV > SHNv3 w/seek tables appended (by Jamie Lutch); see info file for flaw notes


Reviewer: clementinescaboose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 22, 2014
Subject: Great show to kick off the year
I hesitate to give 5 stars here, since there were better shows to come, but this is a strong year opener to say the least. The first set has plenty of highlights, but the shining beacon is the stunning version of Bird Song, a possible top five post-hiatus version, IMHO (can't say for sure, since I've heard far less '80s versions of the tune). Amazing improv from good old Jerome.

Set 2 gets off to a rousing start with a groovy China>Rider, with the typically hot and spicy playing of this period. Also of note is the lengthy jam out of He's Gone: not exactly solid gold from beginning to end, but there are some very compelling passages, including lots of big time Other One teases.
Reviewer: BIG_R - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 10, 2012
Subject: 2-26-81
Nice show/excellent recording. Plenty of bass!
Reviewer: njpg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 27, 2012
Subject: Excellent show,
Great recording.
Reviewer: John Bouffard - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 5, 2009
Subject: ok
I will need half up front;).Seriously I think this is a great sounding show that is well played. The Black Peter is epic!
Reviewer: jhender501 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 10, 2008
Subject: I'd gladly give
$1M to be transported back to this show...holy smoke, for me it's a killer all the way through.
Reviewer: Drumheadz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 21, 2008
Subject: My 2nd show!
This was much more enjoyable than my first experience. By this time I had heard much more of the Deads repitiore. The Uptown Theater should have never been torn down. It was showing it's age but it was such a great old theater.
Great show and even better on Blotto!
Reviewer: jblaser - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 8, 2008
Subject: Sounds Good to Me
I have been listening to these shows, starting with 1987 (don't ask me why) and working my way back through the 80's. I saw the Dead quite a few times in person - some of the shows are in this archive. This isn't one of them, but I agree that the sound is superb and there are some moments of classic Dead "tightness." I give it a four for those moments and the quality of the recording.
Reviewer: JamminJerome - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 11, 2007
Subject: Not exciting but solid nonetheless
I agree that the sound here is deceptive. It is clean, but yet the bass is really low. The boys are solid, throughout, making this a very enjoyable show. What keeps this from 5 stars is the lack of any true standout sections. The energy level is high...but not quite "there." You all know what I mean.
Reviewer: L. Rosley - favoritefavoritefavorite - December 24, 2006
Subject: Skip the first set
Not a great vocal night for Bob and Jerry, though Jerry does some nice guitar work. The jam in Bird Song is a great effort by the whole band. Same is true in Music Never Stopped. (I wish Phil were more audible in this recording.)Brent uses the cheesy piano setting on too many songs (more than usual for this period).

Overall, the second set is better. The band has more energy (though Brent is still using the Lite Rock setting on his keyboard a lot). The China Cat>Rider is great, and is one of the highlights of the show. Jerry smokes on Samson. The jam out of He's Gone is pretty interesting evolving into some different sounds. It's mostly downhill after Drums. Some of the vocal harmonies on Truckin' will make you cringe.
Reviewer: atomicdad - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 10, 2006
Subject: Getting to the show
Well, this is how I remember it. The Garcia band had finished three nights at the Stone in North Beach, San Francisco on Monday night. Vasser Clements band had openned. The Dead were openning the spring tour on Thurs. night in Chicago at the beautiful Uptown, an old vaudeville theater. We all came out of the Stone at about 1 am on Tuesday morning and got in cars and got onto Interstate 80 to head to Chicago. If you drove straight through, you would make it a few hours before the Thursday night show at the Uptown.

Interstate 80 between San Francisco and Chicago was all Dead heads those three days. If you stopped for gas, if you stopped for coffee at 3 am in order to keep driving, nothing but Dead heads. Passing you in the right lane, Dead heads. It was a true gypsy migration. It was the definition of tour. Then to get there to Chicago, where I am from and where all of my best friends were waiting, and to get to this show, was pure magic. Imagine as you listen to this show, that everyone just got out of a car and three days of driving through winter in order to dance to this beautiful Jerry guitar. Then you have a sense of how great this show is.
Reviewer: Purple Gel - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 20, 2006
Subject: Great Show, Great Venue and an Awesome Year!!!!
I drove from Boulder, Co to these shows, it was one of the coldest weekends ever. My original plan was to sleep in the back of my VW Squareback, but it was so cold, I ended up crashing at Ohare airport. These shows were so fun, a small old time movie theater, similar to the Fox in Atl.The sound on these shows is very good

All three of these shows were very solid and a great way to kick off a kick-ass year!! Everything is real nice, nothing extra special except for the GDTRFB, which I thought was exceptional, it was one of those where Jerry kicked it off with the train whistle lick,. All in all a great show to start off a great run and an awesome year.
Reviewer: WakaJaWaka - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 7, 2006
Subject: i agree about the bass...but..
say what you will...the toy piano is funky..yea i wanna dance..ahhhh
Reviewer: smgarcia - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 4, 2006
Subject: Sound is good but deceiving
The sound appears to be fantastic, but it's deceiving. Hard to hear the bass lines, actually any low frequencies. This is part of the reason why I think the first set appears to be not "as exciting" as some others. I'm still in the middle of the first set, but I'm presuming that the second set will continue on with the first.

And how can anybody like that toy piano sound coming out of Brent's piano. It sounds AWFUL. GET RID OF IT. Listen to it on Big River.

I'm sorry. I just heard The Music Never Stops. The piano is just horrible. I think I dropped my coffee on my pants. It sounds like we are at an amusement park. But there is nothing amusing about the tinker-bell piano sound. JUST AWFUL. PLEASE GET RID OF IT PLEASE, BRING KEITH BACK FROM THE DEAD.
Reviewer: early 80's meltdown - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 16, 2006
Subject: Not over the top but...
the sound is killer. Also I've never been there but I live in north suburbs of Chicago and I'll bet it was going down at the beatiful Uptown.
I love the theater and music hall venues on the '81 tour.

Chicago Uptown
Clevland Music Hall
Stanley Theater, Pitts (sweet)
McArthur Court, OR
Long Beach, CA (smokin)
}}}The 1981 Greeks are some of my all time favorite recordings to listen to {{{

and the '81 spaceship Hamptons are top notch Dead also.
Reviewer: CantGetEnough - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 21, 2005
Subject: Nice show
The quality of this recording is very good and the mix is well balanced. Highlights are Rooster, Peggy-O and nice little jam at the end of He's Gone.
Reviewer: donnaruinedthe70s - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 25, 2005
Subject: the first set ...
is good if you are trying to nap or fall asleep at night. not much emotion at all. not sure what everyone is raving about. sound is good, but im not rating shows higher than 2 stars that dont bring some nice energy or unique jams forward.

that being said, they build nicely throughout china and by end of rider, the blood is finally pumping and they finish off a solid, yet unspectacular set. this is a 2.5 star show, sound quality is 5 though. this is clearly the weakest show of this 3 night run. the next night smokes right out the gates.
Reviewer: dirty jev-o - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 10, 2004
Subject: disappearing act
jerry's guitar is gone towards the end of the stranger opener.....kinda ruins it for me.....just reviewing ---- rest of show is great of course, EXCEPT ....where is weir's guitar???????????
Reviewer: stealthhippy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 21, 2004
Subject: what do you think???????
as far as this entire run at the uptown theater 2/6-28/'d have to be downright loco not to d/l all 3 shows, crisp sound, band right on, jerry really improvising at his best..and these are just about the best shows you'll find if you like 1980's Dead.these are all a must...........
Reviewer: sid weiss - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 7, 2004
Subject: great show
great all around all 3 nights
Reviewer: GoNorth - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 2, 2004
Subject: BirdSong
Anyone out there looking into this show for a good Birdsong won't be dissapointed. Long jam and very nice. I hope you all have good soundsystems for this one!
Reviewer: dankherb - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 9, 2004
Subject: gd 2-26-81 uptown theater
good show from start to finsh great feel like a stranger opener with a good china/rider nice sound good all around show
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Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 4/26/2004
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